You have heard nothing from me since leaving Dovadola because there has been little access to WiFi. Due to time constraints this post is going to have the photos tell the story!
We are about to depart, already feeling the heat!
Even on this first day there were magnificent views, but there were even more magnificent views to come in the days ahead.
The path on that first day set the scene for the days ahead, through forest, sometimes a single track, sometimes a wide cart track.
.... and more views.
Here the path widens, and despite some hesitation as to which way we should go an hour or so previously, the signs here show we are not far from our destination. The red, green and white arrow is what we follow.
Sylvia, our kind and generous hostess at Rifugio Campannina waved us off when we left on our second day.
The first part of the day followed a quiet back road along the ridge, again with great views.
We arrived at the medieval village of Portico and decided to stop at the old convent, now a hotel, to have a second breakfast. This turned into a mist wonderful early lunch.
Leaving Portico we crossed this mediaeval humpback bridge.........
............. then headed up and up this paved mule tracktrack,
......... and through the forest.
We spent the night in the village of Premilcuore. That night we had dinner in a square around the corner from here. It was in a community piazza and was part of a fiesta for St Lawrence, with a concert to follow. There were about 50 minutes of thank yous and pats on the back before the entertainment began and so we only saw a bit of the concert, though we heard it for quite a while as we walked back to the refugio.
Leaving the next morning we went through this gate and followed the path along the river, steadily climbing.
We passed another humpback bridge......
The stream we walked beside before tackling the steep part of the path.
..... before climbing up steeply to this ruin.
This day we climbed from 500 metres up to a height of 1,100 metres. The first six were quite comfortable, but then it was STEEP!
I am staggered at ho wild the country is that we are walking through. Steep ravines on either side, and from this point the ridge we are walking on is only about 10 metres wide. The forest, birch, beech, ash, oak, cedar, just seems to go on for miles and is unbelievably dense in a lot of places, opening out going through the pines. It is hundreds of years old.
We skirted around this lovely field before a VERY steep descent into Corniolo
This refugio in Corniolo was a converted mule stable. Kitchen annnd bathroom downstairs and 5 bunks upstairs. Even "a clothesline out the back" as the song says!
The view about 50 metres from the refugio. The blue hill in the distance is the 1400 m one we are headed to!
Nearly to the top........
...... and just some of the paths we were walking on.
The refugio (where the clothes airer is) at Camaldoli.
The view from the ridge. This was a HARD SLOG up to 1,520 metres from about 600 metres! We then descended to the refugio (previous picture) at Camaldoli at around 800 metres. This day was so exhausting we decided it was time to catch a bus.
A chestnut tree in the forest behind the refugio in Camaldoli. For South Aussies reading this - it reminds me of the Herbig tree.
A Romanesque church in Badia Pratella. We got a lift to here by a doctor from Rome, who was "old" so he says. We tip he was our age, but didn't divulge that to him. We offered to buy him a coffee but he didn't accept, pointing to his pulse and saying he had "pressure"!
The exterior of the church, and the village behind. Note the footprint of the chestnut tree log.